Englund Earns Film Production Experience

Englund+helps+set+the+scene+with+a+%22snap+board%22+on+the+set+of+Witness+11

Englund helps set the scene with a “snap board” on the set of Witness 11

While other students may have spent their fall sipping cider and jumping in leaf piles, junior Nolan Englund spent his time working on a new film, Witness 11, at 32Ten Studios in Marin County. The film is expected to premiere at various film festivals this spring.

32Ten Studio is a premier production company. Formerly known as “George Lucas’ Industrial Lights and Magic,” the studio has worked on practical effects, such as models and pyrotechnics, for films such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

On the set, Englund performed a job called “gripping,” which he described as being “the director’s right hand man.” Englund started each shot with the clapboard, worked with a high-end camera, and helped set up lighting. “It was mainly a learning experience, and getting the opportunity to work on a real movie,” he said.

Englund learned a lot about the dynamics of working with people. He added, “One time I suggested a shot, and I guess that was really taboo, but the director was really cool about it and told me this is the place to make those kind of mistakes.”

The film, Witness 11, is a historical documentary that takes place during the Joseph McCarthy era, a period during the Cold War when suspected communists were persecuted. Englund said, “It’s about a man who, instead of letting the government control him, refuted claims that he was a communist.” The film is currently in post-production and is scheduled to premiere soon.

Video production teacher Justin Seligman recommended Englund for the project. A representative of the studio, Sean Mitchell, had been a guest speaker for Video 1, and was in need of a production assistant. “I suggested Nolan because he’s very passionate and a good filmmaker,” Seligman said. “He showed the initiative by driving across the bay to work on the project.”

Englund has expressed a desire to continue working in the film industry. “I plan on going into film school,” he said. “Now, I have connections. The director and me have been emailing back and forth.”

Seligman believes Englund will go far as a filmmaker. “In general, to be a good filmmaker, you need three things: an analytical mind to help with the technical stuff, a creative mind for the writing process, and interpersonal skills. Nolan has all three,” he said.

Englund has participated in video production for three years. Fellow video production student Mike Michaelites said, “He comes up with quite a few ideas, and he’s usually the one filming. He writes the scripts, too.”

Englund has also worked on other film projects with other students, including the Iron Filmmaker, a competition where students have 24-hours to make a film. “My group got an honorable mention. This was my first year in the competition, and next year I’ll be able to use my experience and do better,” he said.

Englund has also worked on other film projects with other students, including the Iron Filmmaker, a competition where students have 24-hours to make a film. “My group got an honorable mention. This was my first year in the competition, and next year I’ll be able to use my experience and do better,” said Englund.